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Updates from the battlefield

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Updates from the battlefield

Post  Weedless_ on 8/25/2010, 8:46 am

Well, folks, looks like the vine borer and pickle worm invasions are over with.
We were able to recover cucumbers happily, squashes marginally, and pumpkin died. Melons are doing great, you'd never be able to tell they were attacked. I snipped all the damaged vines, and that did more good - now the side shoots are growing so fast it's almost scary.
Tigger melon is growing a little fruit at almost every leaf junction. Those are pretty little fruits, and they don't grow large, so I am still hoping for some sweet dessert.

We have harvested our first cantaloupe, it was delicious! It was mature enough to withstand pickleworm attack, they couldn't get inside, so we happily devoured it ourselves. Two other cantaloupes perished in the invasion.
Watermelons are going crazy and growing in all directions, threatening to take over the yard and neighbor's yard. I had to snip some of the vines, and all of the suckers. We had lots of rain lately, so watermelon is in hog heaven.

Squashes were badly damaged by SVB, and after several BT and pesticide applications I was ready to check them off as dead, but they started setting new roots on the side vines, and now we are seeing some vigorous new growth. I tied them up on taller poles, and Odessa squash is doing especially great - I see lots of fruit coming out - almost all flowers are females, and bees just can't get enough of them. Amazing, amazing, that's all I can say. I was majorly depressed over the loss (or potential loss) of all my cucurbits, because they are all great performers and we've harvested tons of stuff off them.

I finally pulled my bush beans. Pole beans aren't doing that great - I see lots of beans, but they are all tiny and curled up - heat doesn't do well for them. But I'll be able to plant some fresh ones for fall, and hopefully they'll do better.

Tomatoes are now blooming like no tomorrow. Those are store bought ones, and took forever to set.

The only thing that didn't suffer from ANY attack, whether severe heat or super rain, or myriads of bugs - was basil. It's a tall bush now, I snipped the flowers off it, and it's going strong. Not a shred of a leaf was taken - it's clean and happy. You'd never think it will do so well, judging by how long it took for it to start growing.

Overall, I am very happy with my garden, and I certainly learned a ton this season.


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Post  ander217 on 8/25/2010, 9:06 am

Congratulations on your cucurbit harvest. I am in awe. We managed to get a few butternuts, baby pumpkins, pickling cukes, and one zucchini and yellow crookneck squash before the bugs ruled.

We harvested two small Charentais muskmelons - tiny but good. They had a buttery texture. One more nearly ripened before something - probably a SVB ate right into it. (Or maybe it was a pickleworm? I'm not familiar with those.) Another Charentais plant came up volunteer in our deep SFG box - how in the world did it get there??? I let it run since we'd already harvested most of that box, and it was setting melons but yesterday I saw that the largest one was covered in young squash bugs. I don't know if I have the heart to keep battling them.

The only melon we had really good luck with was our Moon and Stars watermelon. They weren't bothered by any pests at all, knock on wood. (They grew in a different area of the garden, so maybe the bugs liked the other plants better and stayed in the other section.)

Glad you had a good year.


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